Week of 4/2 – 6/2024: Reflections on Resurrection

April 2, 2024: Resurrection Appearance Stories Yesterday & Today
Matthew was visiting a rabbi friend who is dying. The rabbi brought up the subject of resurrection. Matthew reminded him that “Resurrection is a Jewish idea that was in hot debate in the first century.” Jesus espoused the concept of resurrection. Matthew shared Aquinas’s teachings on the “first” and “second” Resurrection and how the heart of the Resurrection story is the appearances that occurred. Christ is said to have appeared to all the disciples and also to “500” others. Matthew also shared the story of his non-religious Chinese American friend. A few months after his mother died, she appeared to him and stood at the end of his bed. Tears come to this man’s eyes every time he tells the story. Matthew says that in places where he has spoken, 80-85% report having had similar experiences!

The resurrected Christ and his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Painting by Jan Wildens.Wikimedia Commons

April 3, 2024: Resurrection Appearances: The Heart of the Resurrection Story
Matthew reflects on New Testament scholar Bruce Chilton’s recent book on Resurrection Logic: How Jesus’ First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead. He criticizes fundamental Christians for their obsession with the empty tomb while they largely ignore “the substance of the claims of Jesus’ disciples, that they encountered him after his death.” Says Chilton: What is witnessed, in one way or another in all the texts—however they are presented—is the awareness that Jesus is alive after his public execution. 

April 4, 2024: The Resurrection Story & the Transformation of Human Nature
We continue our reflections on Bruce Chilton’s book Resurrection Logic. Chilton says that the resurrected Jesus…insisted that his teaching should be used to call new disciples and seek out new meanings in Scripture by means of Spirit…. He says that the focus of what was to become Christianity should not be on Jesus’s death, but rather what happened after his crucifixion. Jesus, alive after death, was “the kingdom of God revealing itself.” Thus, “Jesus became an agent of greater change than when he was alive.” Chilton summarizes: “Resurrection implies that human nature itself has been transformed.”*   

Three from a series of windows showing the life of St. Tabitha (Dorcas), a “woman full of good works” who fell ill, died, was raised from the dead by St. Peter, and subsequently honored with the title of “disciple.” (Acts 9:36-43) Melton Mowbray, St Mary’s church, Vestry window detail. Photo by Jenny on Flickr.

April 5, 2024: Human Transformation, Emmaus & Efforts to Feed the Starving in Gaza
Jesus’ invitation to put love, justice and compassion first is good news if we can create a society structured on justice and care for the poor and oppressed in preference to privilege for the most powerful. One of the powerful appearances of Jesus after his death happened on the road to Emmaus when two men were discussing the events of His death. Jesus joined them incognito. This seeming stranger amazed the two men with his insights, but it wasn’t until they got to their destination and broke bread together that they realized: This was Jesus! Here was the Last Supper reenacted with the words, “Do this in memory of me.” One can see in this appearance story the origins of what has come to be called the “Eucharist.” Love and the sacredness of eating takes on special meaning at this time when untransformed humanity is carrying on an immoral war in Gaza and especially when the Israeli military, by all accounts, purposely blew up cars carrying people from World Central KItchen, an organization devoted to feeding people in distress.  

April 6, 2024: Jose Andres: Wisdom & Hope for a Transformed Humanity
Jose Andres is founder of World Central Kitchen and a well-known chef. He knew and worked alongside the seven people who were trying to relieve starvation in Gaza and were blown up by the Israeli army on Monday. In a moving and powerful article in the New York Times, Jose says that the work of the murdered food workers “was based on the simple belief that food is a universal human right.” He also declared: “Food is not a weapon of war.” And, “Israel is better than the way this war is being waged.” He said, “After the worst terrorist attack in its history, it’s time for the best of Israel to show up.”

“Young Israelis refuse to participate in Gaza ‘genocide’” TRT World

*Bruce Chilton, Resurrection Logic: How Jesus’ First Followers Believed God Raised Him from the Dead.

**Jose Andres, “Let People Eat,” New York Times, April 3, 2024.

Banner Image: “Tapestry: The Resurrection. Series of the Scuola Nuova with episodes from the Life of Christ. By workshop of Pieter van Aelst.” Wikimedia Commons.

Recommended Reading

Stations of the Cosmic Christ
By Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times.
“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to spiritual and global survival. It is cosmically brilliant.” — Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity.
“Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register

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2 thoughts on “Week of 4/2 – 6/2024: Reflections on Resurrection”

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    May God’s Spirit of LOVE~WISDOM~TRUTH~PEACE~HEALING~JUSTICE… grow and evolve in all the lives and areas of the world experiencing war, poverty, suffering, and injustices…. Amen

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